Manifesting Failure

My mother always has these little sayings and one-liners she trots out at just the right time – it’s the Irish Newfie storytelling thing.  When I was growing up she’d tell me, “What goes around, comes around” when someone did something mean or “Every dog has its day” when you’d unexpectedly have good fortune.

When you’re a kid, you don’t quite get those sayings and you just end up rolling your eyes and carrying on.  The wisdom of some of those little sayings is often lost on young people.

She did, however, have two sayings that always stuck with me, “Shit in one hand, wish in the other and see which gets filled first” and “Wishing doesn’t make it so.”

For some reason, the poignancy of those statements resonated with me even as a fairly young child – I understood the meaning behind them and carried that with me my whole life into adulthood.  I simply don’t believe in “wishing” for good things to happen, I live by the rules that you make your own luck and hard work pays dividends.

Wow, I need to catch my breath, there are a ton of cliches in the opening of this email, I feel like I’m watching some athlete articulate their victory after the game.  “We totally outsportsed our opponents.  Our score exceeded theirs at the end of the regulation amount of time required to conclude this match.  We look forward to continuing to be victorious over our somewhat inferior competition in the games yet not played between our two sides.”

Ok, where was I?  Right… Wishing sucks, hard work rules.  Got it.

But what about “manifesting” your desired outcomes?  Where does that fit in?

Before I tear into that, let me explain manifestation for those of you not familiar with the quackery behind it.

Basically, you fixate on something you want.  You hone in on it and make it present in your thoughts as much as you can.

The example I’ve seen used is, imagine you want a black Mercedes but you can’t afford to buy one.  You get a photo of the car you want to buy, stick it in your wallet, make it your background image on your phone and on your desktop.  You look at that car all the time.

Now according to manifestation witchcraft, you should start seeing this car appear more and more in everyday life.  You’ll start thinking about it more and how to get it, so you’ll subconsciously start saving more money.

On and on the manifestation merry-go-round goes and eventually, *POOF* the universe will magically make your black Mercedes appear and you can graduate up from Uber X driver to full-blown Uber Black or Uber Lux driver.  Well done, you.

As you can tell, I hold this nonsense in very little esteem.  I think I read about four pages of The Secret before I wanted to punch a kitten in the throat – and man, it was a pretty cute kitten too!  All that Law of Attraction stuff is, as my Mom would say, a bunch of people sitting around sh*tting in their other hand.

If you really want to know the secret to success, I’ll give it to you for free… Ready?

Work hard and turn up every single day.  The fast way to dig a hole is to start shovelling.

Life doesn’t just plop stuff down in front of you because you “wish” for it.  That’s just stupid and lazy.  Are some people lucky?  Of course they are, but luck and hope aren’t a plan!  You can’t walk into the grocery store, fill your trolley with food and “hope” that money turns up so you can pay for it.

This whole email came from someone today sending me a picture of their “vision board” which is the adult version of sending a letter to Santa.  My immediate response to receiving the picture was, “Great!  Have you put together a business plan to achieve that yet?  What’s your project plan look like?  Looking forward to seeing that picture.”

And cue the crickets.  Yeah, there was no plan.  Just a wall with a bunch of paper things cut out and stuck to it.  Reminded me of girls growing up who would have cut out pictures of Rob Lowe and Corey Haim and stick them in notebooks – all just wishful thinking.  This woman has a teenage crush on being successful at business.

If you want to be successful, put down the scissors and the glue stick, figure out who your target audience is, what problem can you solve for them and how you’re going to do it.


Don’t create a collage or write a poem about it, knuckle down and get to work.  Be tenacious and when you fail, pick yourself up and keep moving forward.

While you’re out making your dream come true by working hard and being relentless, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that somewhere, between cups of tea and scones some of your competition are making vision boards and hoping to one day get magically gifted from the universe what you’re out there creating for yourself!

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